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A Guest Blog Presented by Keshet Dance & Center for the Arts
Remember when we believed the sky is the limit? When did we stop believing? The truth is we are all born with the gumption to be instinctively active, inquisitive and creative; yet somewhere along the way we’re told, “your body can’t do that,” pointing to a physical limitation, or “we can’t afford to do that,” describing an economic limitation.
What if we could once again see the world through the lens of unlimited possibilities?
Since 1996, Keshet Dance & Center for the Arts has been inspiring and uniting community by fostering unlimited possibilities through dance, mentorship and a creative space for the arts.
The reality is, families face limitations each and every day.
A key aspect of all Keshet programming is the belief that all bodies are dancing bodies. Keshet integrates a multi-generational cast of all physical and developmental abilities, including seasoned professional artists and dancers using wheelchairs and other mobility devices to assist their movement in dance classes and performances. Rather than shy away from these differences, Keshet celebrates them and educates our community to highlight the beauty in all dancers. The inclusive environment of Keshet’s Mixed Ability dance programming pushes back on perceptions of physical limitation and offers dancers the opportunity to rediscover what is possible on the path to unlimited possibilities.
Photo credit: Pat Berrett
“Dancing has changed my life because I feel like I don’t have a disability when I dance. On stage, I feel free, and I feel beautiful.” — Tonya (pictured above), age 25
It’s not news that funding for the arts has dramatically reduced in recent years, and this has only deepened the divide and limited access to all art disciplines, particularly among low-income families.
Approximately 40% of Keshet’s student body benefits from reduced- or no-cost dance classes, with 46% reporting a household income below $40,000 and 20% reporting a physical or developmental disability. This year Keshet expects to award over $62,000 in scholarships, giving approximately 250 youth the opportunity to participate in life-changing dance and performance experiences.
Currently, Keshet is offering online programming. Free pre-recorded dance classes for all ages and abilities are available on Keshet’s YouTube channel. A weekly live online Zoom Dance Party for all ages and abilities is available on Keshet’s Facebook events page. For more information about classes or Keshet’s Summer Dance Challenge, please visit keshetarts.org or call 505-224-9808.
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